I don’t see myself living past seventy. God be merciful and I do not find myself in any tragic accident, I can only see myself living at the most, a full life by seventy-five. Part of it is because I understand my body is simply not up to the task. My heart is physically weak. I have given little consolation to my lungs with my occasional smoking. My flesh is almost always tied in with exhaustion or a knot of nausea in my head and stomach.
I’m not sickly. But when I do find myself temporarily incapacitated by a cold, or a bad case of flu, I find myself too dependent on medicine, pain-killers in particular. I cannot imagine a world without paracetamol. And whether by chance or choice – is there anything in this world that still happens by chance? – I am developing a habit for the bottle. Why waste money on a shrink and some rivotril when there is vodka?
The other part is because I know I will live on my own. A solitary life is an endeavor suited for those with short lives. I do not mean living in isolation, with no contact with family or friends. I mean it in a practical sense. I know I will live on my own. It is an inevitability useless to argue with (and that is why it is an inevitability in the first place). Bound to happen I suppose, but presumably and hopefully with some form of grace or refinement. That is my only prayer.
After all, it suits me better to live alone. Who knows, there could be periodic affairs, but at my age – at such a young age, you will cry out – forever is an overbearing commitment I have no intention of sharing with anyone. Permanence is not that appealing anymore. And to permanently share my life with a stranger would mean relinquishing control over a few details of my life. Can I afford that when I am too much for myself already?
Bit by bit, like the ashes from my favorite Marlboro black. Sip by sip, like my favorite cheap bottle of brandy from the convenience store. That is how I would die – in increments. Gradually, but equally spread out in years until the seventh decade. Whether or not I actually die on my own remains to be seen. In the meantime, I shall not be too worried about outliving dear Noah.
I want to live alone
Because the greatest love
Is always ruined by the bickering
The argument of living
So I want to live alone
I could be happy on my own
Live the rest of my life
With the vaguest of feeling